Director Chloe Zhao Doesn’t Want ‘Eternals’ LGBTQ+ Characters Censored in Overseas Release. Due to various national and religious laws in countries outside of the US, some movies and television shows have been banned or altered from their original cut to be deemed “appropriate” for audiences in said countries. New content tends to be reviewed by a committee before being banned or altered, and both options are known to hurt the bottom line of the film, causing many studios to avoid or minimally feature controversial content.
Though Marvel Studios Director Chloe Zhao stood her ground regarding her new film, Eternals, which is set to feature the first openly gay married couple with a child. Chloe shared in a recent interview with IndieWire,
“I don’t know all the details but I do believe discussions were had and there’s a big desire from Marvel and myself – we talked about this – to not change the cut of the movie. Fingers crossed,” Zhao shared. “The way Phastos’ story plays out in the film is that he’s someone who only sees humanity as a whole and believes that technology’s going to solve the problem. Obviously, he lost faith in us for some very tough things that we’ve done. And then he had to stop looking at us as a whole and look at one person he falls in love with, and one child, to regain the face of humanity. It’s like us turning on the news and thinking it’s completely hopeless and then going home, looking at our lover and our child and going like, ‘Well actually this is worth fighting for.'”
Adding, “To position that family in that specific situation and to have that moment feel authentic and real… the audience has to feel that to care. Otherwise, there’s no point in putting that onscreen because they don’t feel it.”
Haaz Steiman who plays Phastos’ husband in Eternals spoke with NewNowNext (via The Direct) about his role in the film, sharing, “It’s my first Marvel film, so of course I’m excited. My gut feeling is you’ll be so proud. What Marvel has been able to accomplish, I’m so proud of them because they approached it in a very thoughtful way, and Phastos is one of the biggest superheroes in the film. I’m his husband, an architect; we have a child. Even though I wished I was the superhero, because when will we see an Arab Muslim openly gay actor playing a superhero? I can’t wait to see it.”
Steiman went on to confirm that Eternals will feature an on-screen kiss between the husbands, saying, “Oh, yeah, absolutely, and it’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set.” He continued, “For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be. Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we in the queer community were all children at one point. We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious. We forget to connect on that human part.”
The outstanding ensemble cast includes Gemma Chan as humankind-loving Sersi, Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as cosmic-powered Kingo, Lia McHugh as the eternally young, old-soul Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry as the intelligent inventor Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as the super-fast Makkari, Barry Keoghan as aloof loner Druig, Don Lee as the powerful Gilgamesh, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, with Salma Hayek as the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena.
Chloé Zhao directs the film, and Kevin Feige and Nate Moore are the producers, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and Kevin de la Noy serving as executive producers. The screen story is by Ryan Firpo & Kaz Firpo, and the screenplay is by Chloé Zhao and Chloé Zhao & Patrick Burleigh and Ryan Firpo & Kaz Firpo.
Check out the trailer for Marvel Studios’ Eternals and be sure to see it when it hits theaters on November 5th:
Be sure to check back here at Chip and Company for updates and all things Marvel!
Featured Photo Credit: Marvel Studios
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